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Russia’s upper house ratifies protocol to agreement for deploying air group to Syria

The protocol states that the agreement will be valid for 49 years

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) ratified a protocol to the Russian-Syrian agreement on the deployment of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ air group to Syria at its session on Wednesday.

The protocol was signed in Damascus on January 18, 2017, and "is aimed at establishing the international legal framework regulating the conditions for the presence of the Russian air group in Syria and boosting the defense potential of Russia and Syria proceeding from the parties’ mutual desire to strengthen and develop military cooperation."

The protocol envisages, in particular, that to deploy the air group, Syria will transfer to Russia for free use, the plot of land on the Hmeymim airfield and all its movable and immovable assets located there.

In addition, the protocol’s provisions regulate Russia’s jurisdiction in the area where the air group is located, and matters pertaining to its personnel, military servicemen’s families and civilian personnel. It sets forth the immunities and privileges, a procedure for cooperation on matters of jurisdiction and provision of legal assistance in civil, criminal and administrative cases.

The protocol states that the agreement will be valid for 49 years and will be automatically extended for subsequent 25-year periods.